Video from a Live Talks Los Angeles event with Frank Deford discussing his memoir, Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter with John Salley.
Frank Deford is senior contributing writer at Sports Illustrated, where his byline first appeared in 1962. A weekly commentator for NPR’s “Morning Edition,” — where he recently read his fifteenth-hundred commentary – he is also a regular correspondent on the HBO show “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.” As a journalist, Deford has won the National Magazine Award for profiles, and has been elected to the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters. Voted by his peers as U.S. Sportswriter of the Year six times, he was also cited by The American Journalism Review as the nation’s finest sportswriter and was twice voted Magazine Writer of the Year by the Washington Journalism Review. He has been presented with a Christopher Award and awards for distinguished service to journalism from the University of Missouri and Northeastern University. Deford and Red Smith are the only authors with more than one piece in The Best American Sportswriting of the Century, edited by David Halberstam. For his radio and TV work, Deford has won both an Emmy and a George Foster Peabody Award.
Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter is as unconventional and wide-ranging as Frank Deford’s remarkable career, in which he has chronicled the heroes and the characters of just about every sport in nearly every medium. Deford joined Sports Illustrated in 1962, fresh out of Princeton. They called him “the Kid,” and he made his reputation with dumb luck discovering fellow Princetonian Bill Bradley and a Canadian teenager named Bobby Orr. These were the Mad Men–like 1960s, and Deford recounts not just the expense-account shenanigans and the antiquated racial and sexual mores, but the professional camaraderie and the friendships with athletes and coaches during the “bush” years of the early NBA and the twilight of “shamateur tennis.”
Join us for an evening with Frank DeFord as he is interviewed by John Salley discussing his memoir – packed with people and stories, from the insightful and hilarious to the poignant and moving, especially the chapters on Deford’s visit to apartheid South Africa with Arthur Ashe, and his friend’s brave and tragic death. Interwoven through his personal history, Deford lovingly traces the entire arc of American sportswriting, from the lurid early days of the Police Gazette, through sportswriters Grantland Rice and Red Smith, and on up to ESPN.
John Salley is an NBA veteran of 11 seasons. He is the first basketball player in NBA history to win four championships with three different teams. Drafted out of Georgia Tech in 1986 by the Detroit Pistons, Salley was a member of the “Bad Boys” squad which included Isaiah Thomas and the infamous Dennis Rodman; a team that went on to win back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990. Following stints with the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors, Salley played with Michael Jordan as part of the Chicago Bulls 1996 championship team. After a brief retirement to co-host NBA on NBC, Phil Jackson invited Salley to come join the Los Angeles Lakers where he was on the 2000 NBA Championship team.
Since his retirement from the NBA, Salley has worked in television, film, radio, print and new media. Salley was a co-host of the Emmy nominated series The Best Damn Sports Show Period (FOX) for seven years. He is presently host and Executive Producer of his interview show, Game On! with John Salley on the Reelz Channel. He has written on food, wine and wellness, for Wine Spectator, Cigar Aficionado and LA Confidential.